What impressed me the most was Farrell's promise that the system will be able to sort all available content based on all applications on the console. What this means is if you see The Dark Knight in your search results, it will tell you if it's available on the Zune Marketplace, Netflix, Hulu, and more. Farrell himself admits to being burned by paying for a Zune Marketplace rental that he later discovered was available on Netflix. This granular approach to filtering will hopefully solve that issue in the future. Where things get complicated, Farrell said, are things like adding YouTube results to Xbox Live-wide searches. "YouTube is kinda crazy with the amount of titles people can name and just throw up there. We can't guarantee we'll have all of that stuff day one, but we'll be continually evolving the Dashboard on the back end to get it there," Farrell explained. Facebook sharing will also get an upgrade, allowing users to annoy their friends with posts about their recent Achievements. Microsoft is also giving developers the ability to interact with this feature, allowing them use Facebook and Twitter sharing directly from the console without having it being built into the game. This is a cause for concern of course as those types of constant messages can ruin friendships, but Farrell promises all of these features can be disabled by the user. No video was allowed during the preview and a few questions about things like Live TV partners went unanswered, but Farrell said more will be revealed over time and a beta would be open to the press next month. The new dashboard update is planned to launch this holiday.
Gone are the stacks of info, replaced with cleaner grids.